Nowhere to Hide

Recently I got a roll of white seamless paper to use as a backdrop for portraits. Shooting portraits like this is a compelling challenge; there is no scenic vista, no charming background to support the portrait; it’s just the subject and the camera. It’s like a musical melody with no arrangement or harmony; the portrait has to stand by itself. I find myself drawn to the work of the late Richard Avedon, who was famous for portraits taken against a plain background. In this kind of image, there is truly nowhere to hide.

Last one of Tiffany

Portrait create with Mamiya M645 medium format camera, Fuji Neopan Acros 100 film developed in HC-110 Dilution H, 10 minutes.
Negative scanned and post-processed using Nik Silver Efex Pro.


An Interview

My good friend Mark Blevis captured some video of the show set-up the other night, and asked me some questions about the show:

Mark and his wife Andrea have been incredibly generous this week in putting me up (and putting up with me), and supporting and helping publicize my show. Mark and Andrea, I can’t thank you enough!!

A Reminder . . .

The next couple of days will be very busy as I do my final preparations for my first photography display/sale ever:

Beginning on January 3rd (and continuing through the month of January), selections from my 2011 Photography project “Women and Cameras” will on display/sale at the Wild Oat Bakery and Cafe, 817 Bank Street in Ottawa.

This project features images captured using traditional film cameras, and printed on hand coated paper using two antique printing processes” Cyanotype and Van Dyke Brown. The subject of each image is a portrait of a woman, with an antique/classic film camera, like in the example below:
Cyanotype of Kathleen With Voigtlander
On Wednesday, January 4th at 7 pm at the Wild Oat I will be giving a presentation on my project, and the two processes I used to create these images.

If you are in the Ottawa area I’d love to see you there!

Buried Treasure

If I leave film lying around undeveloped long enough, and it’s not labelled, I forget what’s on the roll. This makes for an interesting (and often pleasant) surprise when I do get around to developing the film. Today’s image falls into this category. I had done a couples shoot, but mainly in digital. I did bring along my Pentax 6×7 medium format camera and took a few images, and then promptly forgot I had taken some film shots along with the digitals. When I developed the film a few days ago, I saw this image, and it has become my favourite from the shoot.

One more of Amy and Jerrod

Photographic Resolutions for 2012

Today’s image is of a street in Herculaneum, the less well know town that along with Pompeii was also a victim of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. This images was taken in November of 2011, using my Mamiya M645J. Streets and roads evoke images of journeys, so I thought it would be the perfect image for today’s blog post.

Another view in Herculaneum

This is the 200th post in this blog, and also as we are nearing the end of 2011 it’s a good time to state my photographic goals and resolutions for 2012. Looking back at my 2011 resolutions, I didn’t do too badly; Number 3 is still a work in progress, and number 5 hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sure some day it will.

For 2012, my goals are:

  1. Get a handle on the Lith printing process.
  2. Complete my Infrared Portrait and Broken projects, plus a project to be named later in the year
  3. Improve my Large Format (4×5) camera skills
  4. Improve my darkroom print making skills
  5. Arrange some kind of show in Toronto

Wish me luck!


Today’s image is from the Broken series. Model Jennifer was amazing both in doing a great make-up job, and coming up with powerful poses. What I like about this image is the strength of her eye: an unbroken, strong object, staring at the viewer through the shards of a broken object. It reminds the viewer that some things cannot be broken.

Broken Record


Taken with Mamiya M645 medium format camera, 80mm f2.8 lens on Fomapan 100 film, developed on Xtol 1:1